Mandatory Arbitration – Corporate America’s Get Out Of Jail Free Card

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Mandatory Arbitration – Corporate America’s Get Out Of Jail Free Card - Bud Taylor’s Story

In this INSIDER EXCLUSIVE Investigative Network TV Special, our News team “Goes Behind The Headlines” in MANDATORY ARBITRATION – CORPORATE AMERICA’S GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD - Bud Taylor’s Story ….. to examine how Brian Sanford, Founder, The Sanford Law Firm , successfully won an arbitration award for his client Bud Taylor in a case involving retaliation for opposing discrimination.

Buried in the fine print of credit card billing inserts, cellular phone service disclosures, employee handbooks, health insurance plans, and franchise agreements, “mandatory or forced” arbitration clauses eliminate Americans’ access to the courts, forcing them instead into a costly, private legal system that favors corporations.

Employers and Businesses use these hidden clauses to protect themselves against lawsuits. They like to say that people have a choice to use arbitration or go to court…. but they don’t. If someone refuses to sign a contract with forced arbitration but still shows up for work or uses a product or service, they lose even the option of going to court. Even if they never read the clause – which is usually buried in the fine print – they are forced to use an expensive private legal system of arbitration or Private Justice, instead of getting their day in court and a fair jury trial.

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, has compiled a “Forced Arbitration Corporate Rogues Gallery”….a list of companies that includes forced arbitration in their consumer and employment contracts. These corporations are Rigging the Justice System against Consumers and Employees. A study was done that shows 95% of decisions are against consumers and employees. So it's a sham. It's grossly unfair and unconstitutional.

Americans should never have to give up their basic constitutional rights, such as a jury trial by their peers, an impartial and qualified judge, to discover evidence for their case, to appeal or to bring a class action lawsuit, just to do the everyday things in their lives.

In Bud Taylor’s case, Brian Sanford had to prove that but for Bud’s opposition to discrimination, he would not have been terminated from his job.

The arbitration process should be optional and not a mandatory waiver of a right to a jury trial secured by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution. This is a serious and widespread problem in the U.S.

Brian answers very important questions we’ve all got regarding “Mandatory Arbitration”

  • What is arbitration and especially…Mandatory binding arbitration?
  • Where is Mandatory arbitration commonly used?
  • What's wrong with arbitration?
  • How Mandatory arbitration means giving up the most fundamental legal protection: the right to equal justice under the law.
  • Why do so many consumer, employment and civil rights groups oppose forced arbitration?
  • What can we do about the problem?
  • What if you need legal help against a company using a Mandatory arbitration clause?

There are reasons that companies demand arbitration which do not have to do with justice. Employees have little choice to forego their rights in court and to participate in the process.

Here’s How Consumers and Employees are Hurt by the “Mandatory Arbitration Agreements” usually buried in the “Fine Print”:

  • When corporations impose arbitration in non-negotiable contracts, using their bargaining power to take away people’s legal rights, it becomes an abusive weapon.
  • Corporations have created one-sided forced arbitrations that burden consumers and employees and deprive them of equal justice under the law.
  • Arbitration is a “Private Justice system” without an impartial judge, jury, or meaningful appeal.
  • There is no public review of decisions to ensure the arbitrator got it right.
  • Federal law does not require that arbitrators have legal training or even follow the law.
  • Arbitrators’ decisions must be upheld even if they disregard the law.

Americans need a system that is transparent and accountable to the public for a change. Mandatory arbitration means giving up the most fundamental legal protection: the right to equal justice under the law.

Laws that protect employees against discrimination based on age, sex, religion, race, disability, and unequal pay for equal work, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act. But these laws are meaningless if unenforceable in court.

It’s time to close the arbitration loophole that gives employers the right to ignore civil rights, and weakens Civil Justice Safeguards.

When Congress enacted the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925, its goal was to allow an alternative forum for commercial parties on equal footing to resolve their disputes.

The use of forced arbitration to settle employment claims has risen rapidly since the early 1990s. In 1991 Congress made jury trials and money damages available under Title VII.

In 1992, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. But these expansions of workers’ protections were undermined in 1991, when the Supreme Court permitted an employer to force its employees to resolve disputes in arbitration. An estimated 15 percent to 25 percent of American employers have adopted forced arbitration policies.

This means that more than 30 million employees (1 out of every 4 non-union workers) have given up their right to go to court. Instead, their contracts designate an arbitration firm selected by the employer to resolve any disputes.

Forced arbitration clauses effectively allow employers to shield themselves from the purview of employment laws. This should alarm every worker in the United States. Big business and corporate money, along with a corporate friendly Supreme Court, have been enough in the past to defeat efforts to bring fairness back to the arena of routine consumer and employee rights.

In two recent cases, A.T. & T. Mobility v. Concepcion and American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the Supreme Court held that mandatory-arbitration clauses should be enforced against plaintiffs, even though doing so would make pursuing a legal claim so economically irrational that, in all likelihood, no cases would ever get brought.

The Concepcion and Italian Colors cases represent a concerted effort on the part of our nation’s highest court to enforce consumer contracts more strictly to their letter. In the 2011 AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the court ruled that corporations can now use this fine print to deny people the right to band together for a class action lawsuit.

In practice, this means if a company decides to illegally charge an extra $10 to its 10 million customers, there is virtually no way for consumers to hold the company accountable for this theft of $100 million. It’s basically a “Corporate Get out Jail Free Card.

As the law exists now, you do not have the right to file a lawsuit for many consumer and employee and civil rights complaints. The good news is that this problem can be fixed with The Arbitration Fairness Act (H.R. 1844, S. 878).

The proposed Arbitration Fairness Act legislation, supported by Senators Franken, Blumenthal, Sanders, Boxer, and others, would make arbitration agreements unenforceable in the employment or consumer context unless the agreement is made after the underlying dispute arises.

The Arbitration Fairness Act would eliminate forced arbitration clauses, and allow consumers and employees to choose how to resolve disputes after it arises — whether in court or arbitration, individually or as a member of a class. We can all Stop the corporate attack on people’s rights by Contacting your members of Congress to support the Arbitration Fairness Act.

Brian Sanford and his firm have earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Dallas…. In Texas….. and in the nation fighting for equal justice of all Americans. His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…But To make sure that all individuals receive “equal protection and justice under the law” as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

Americans deserve judges who believe that the constitution provides for fair and equal justice for everyone in America, not just for the wealthy and powerful

Please contact Brian Sanford @ The Sanford Law Firm or 972-422-9777